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You Can't Go Alone

by Andrew Welsh-Huggins

About the Author: By day, Andrew Welsh-Huggins is an editor and reporter for the Associated Press in Columbus, focusing on criminal justice topics. By earlier in the day, he is the author of six novels about an ex-Ohio State and ex-Cleveland Browns quarterback turned private eye,including the newly released "Fatal Judgment." His short fiction has appeared in "Down And Out Magazine," "Tough," and previously in "Mystery Weekly Magazine."



Now he had him, Pressman thought. Finally, he could make it right. Starting today, he wouldn’t lose it every time he saw Billy’s face pop into his—

“Gah,” Orndorff said.

“Shut up,” Pressman said, jamming the barrel of his gun harder into the underside of Orndorff’s jaw, forcing him to stand on his toes to avoid choking right before he had his brains blown out.

“I’m going to kill you,” Pressman said. “Just like you killed him.”

“Gah … go ahead.”

“No one would miss you. How does that make you feel?”

“Like I wish … just shut up … do it.”

“I’m going to, believe me.”

“I believe you,” Orndorff said.

Pressman blinked the sweat out of his eyes as he struggled to hold the gun steady. He concentrated on the spider web tattoo that ran up and down the scrawny dealer’s neck, dark lines overlaying skin as pale as a snapped tendon. He could do this, he told himself. No biggie.

Billy, his first Little League game. Eight years old and nervous as hell. Pressman nervous too but also proud—graduating from the academy proud. How sharp the boy looked, the perfect creases in the freshly washed uniform, his cap pulled on firm and true.

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